Roger’s Chattr to provoke Bell and Telus to Retaliate

July 22, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

It was announced at the beginning of the week that Rogers would hold off on releasing it’s Chattr service targeting the discount cell phone market. Slated to be released on the 20th of July, a memo was issued to retailers asking them to keep their chattr stock under lock and key until further notice. The delay may be due to Rogers looking into a complaint issued by Mobilicity chairman John Bitove outlining how Rogers would be infringing on the Competition act if Chatr is released. Chatr’s pricing is in direct competition to Mobilicity’s own offerings. A response from Kathy Murphy, a Rogers spokeswoman, mentions that Chattr will in fact be released “later this summer”. Bell will surely follow suit lowering it’s prices on it’s popular Solo line of phone to be more evenly matched with that of Chatr. Telus will likely release it’s own discount line of phones and services plans targeted at low to average income users. This could mean bad things for wireless carriers like Wind, Mobilicity and Public Mobile whos sole business revolves around the discount cell market. Low priced phones and voice plans will be widespread giving buyers a choice. The current discount wireless carriers are afraid users will choose a big name provider over the small upstart. This could mean good things for the end users with a downward spiral of price cutting, each carrier trying to out do the other. It would be great if we could also see a discount data plan package, but I think we’re a ways away from that kind of offering. Discount carriers are going to need to differentiate themselves if they want to stay alive in this soon to be very competitive market segment.